Certifications in Christian Counseling: The Passion of Christ
Christian Counseling hopes to prepare spiritual children for Lent. In some ways, a Certified Christian Counselor becomes a spiritual mentor or spiritual director in these cases. One of the ways to help spiritual children, and yourself, grow spiritually is a focus on one’s sins and the Passion of Christ this Lent. For those interested in certifications in Christian Counseling, this article will have spiritual benefit
Experiencing the Passion of Christ can be accomplished numerous ways. First and foremost via meditation. A meditation that becomes initially active in choosing a mystery of Christ’s passion. Whether it is the scourging of the pillar, the crowning of thorns, or the three hour agony of the cross, Christians can pick a particular suffering and focus on it. This will undoubtedly bring one to tears but this good. Too many times, Christians hope to focus on the glories of Christ or avoid the morbid suffering of their Lord. Maybe this is because of guilt of one’s sins, or maybe the pain of seeing Christ brutally tortured? Yet, unlike Peter in his fraility of the moment to flee, let us instead behave like John and suffer with Christ. We should courageously enter into meditation, expecting tears and pain. We should offer this sadness in union with our Lady to her Son. We can in this way, ease the burden of the weight of the cross simply by being there for our Lord. As God, Christ will sense our reflection, even though historically the incident happened 2000 years ago. As Simon shared the weight of the cross, we too should share our small sufferings with Christ. With Christ and only with Christ can these minute pains bear great spiritual benefit.
In addition to deep and reflective meditation, we should also socially partake in these sorrowful mysteries with our brothers and sisters. Passion plays, the stations of the cross and pious movies on the passion are all excellent ways to remember our Lord’s passion. As a collective group, we can remember and thank Christ for his ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
Personally in addition to attending the stations every Friday, I find it very spiritually rewarding to watch The Passion of the Christ. This film is by no means an easy exercise. It is a meditation in itself that tests the spirit and body. If one truly loves Christ, then one cannot escape tears. Based on a mystic’s visions, this film starts from the Garden and ends at the Cross. This graphic film of Christ’s passion helps one find remorse for sin and increases one’s love for Christ.
Beyond this, there are many important theological elements within the film that capture the greater picture. The Passion of the Christ is more than just an execution of our Lord but is an unfolding of a battle between good and evil. It is a pinnacle point of the war against Satan where his power over the human race will be forever altered. The theological drama that mere human eyes cannot see are clearly portrayed in this movie. Frequent times, Satan appears throughout the execution of Christ mocking him–only until he truly realizes that Christ is God does the demon realize his folly.
In addition to this, the movie also helps us to appreciate the suffering of our Holy Mother. As a mother, she sacrificed her son for our sins. Her spiritual crucifixion is clearly seen and witnessed as Jesus meets his mother on the way to Calvary.
Finally and important to note, the redemptive theology is impressive. If one takes note, Christ is tempted by the serpent in the garden to give up. Unlike Adam, who in a different garden gave in to the serpent, Christ as the New Adam and redeemer, crushes the head of the serpent and accepts God’s will. In that acceptance, we are redeemed instead of damned.
I think it is important to reflect on these things during Lent. Whether it is through meditation, a play, a movie, or the stations, we need to focus on the death of Christ, what it means to us and how we can repay him.
If you are interested in certifications in Christian Counseling, then please review the program. Certifications in Christian Counseling usually entail qualifications in ministry, pastoral care or academic degrees. If you are qualified, you can earn certifications in Christian Counseling by taking the core courses. Once the courses are complete, you can become certified.
Mark Moran, MA